Published: Dec 05, 2012 10:47 PM EST

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.- The U-S Coast Guard unloaded nearly two tons of seized cocaine in Saint Petersburg, Florida, this morning.  

Officials say the cocaine was destined for Puerto Rico and the U-S Virgin Islands. The seizures started on November 25th with the discovery of a little more than two-thousand pounds of cocaine off the coast of the Dominican Republic. Two days later, the second seizure snagged 18-hundred pounds of cocaine in roughly the same area.

Lt. Kjell Rommerdahl with the U.S. Coast Guard says, "There's been a recent rise in crime in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  They suspect it's correlated to illegal drug trafficking, so they've recently pumped up Coast Guard presence."
The cocaine has a street value of about 45-million dollars. The seizures are part of an operation that has netted 20-thousand pounds of seized cocaine, and 69-hundred pounds of marijuana over the last five months.